China pledges continued help as Nepal rebuilds

Updated: 2015-05-07 07:46

(China Daily/Xinhua)

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China pledges continued help as Nepal rebuilds

A Chinese rescuer disinfects quake debris in Kathmandu, Nepal, May 2, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

A senior official has pledged that China will continue to help Nepal in its post-earthquake reconstruction.

"As a neighbor, China will do its best to help Nepal's government and people to pull through the difficulties and reconstruct their homes," said Huang Xilian, deputy head of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Asian Affairs, at a news briefing on Wednesday.

About 360 metric tons of relief materials were to be sent to Nepal on Wednesday afternoon and were expected to arrive within four days. A hundred tons of materials from China's military arrived in Nepal on Saturday and Sunday. Three helicopters from China's air force flew to Nepal on Wednesday morning to help with transportation and rescue.

China has sent a total of seven medical and rescue teams. By Sunday, the three medical teams had diagnosed 2,234 people, treated 969 people, trained 714 medical staff members and helped the Nepalese to formulate a post-disaster health and epidemic prevention plan.

Zheng Weibo, director of the emergency response office of the General Staff Headquarters of the People's Liberation Army, said the PLA, at the request of Nepal, also sent chemical defense and decontamination forces to help the country prevent a plague breakout.

Huang said the search and rescue phase had come to an end. Epidemic prevention and temporary housing of victims have taken over as priorities.

"The reconstruction is a long-term project. We have already asked Nepal what they need and we will send experts for more detailed discussions," he said.

Huang said that reconstruction of heavily damaged infrastructure, rehousing of victims and restoration of historic buildings will be prioritized.

Zhang Guoxin, an official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said China also might send experts to help local psychologists counsel victims.

China is also coordinating with India on relief work. "We have been talking to India about sending rescue and relief forces since the second day after the earthquake," Huang said.

The death toll from the earthquake in Nepal rose to 7,675 on Wednesday, according to the country's Home Ministry.

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